American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2011 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Kids Q & A

New Mouse Owner

By Geri Hauser

Allison Chassé, age 11, Nashville, TN
QMy name is Allison and I am 11 years old. Yesterday, I adopted two female mice from Petco. I named them Macy and Tracy. I was wondering if you could help me out by giving me some advice. I don’t think they have eaten or drunk anything since they came home last night. I am worried they might be dehydrated or starving. They have a bowl of fresh food in their cage and a water bottle full of fresh water that they can get to. I also put two wooden toy sticks for them to chew on, but they won’t touch them. I put a small treat in their cage, but they only nibbled it. Right now they have Fiesta brand pet food for rats and mice. I have noticed a few things besides the food and water issue:

  • Their stool is a little liquidy
  • Tracy is more active than Macy. Tracy has run on the wheel and Macy is hiding in the igloo.
  • When I hold them, they get really freaked out and their hearts start to pound.

I don’t know if I am doing something wrong or what.

Please give me some advice because I am worried about their health.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your help.

ASometimes mice are going to be afraid until they get used to their new home. Also, they don’t interact with humans the way rats do. Just keep handling them several times a day and give them a treat when you put them back in their cage so they associate being handled with getting a treat.

It is always a good idea to learn all you can about the animals you want to get for pets before you get them. That way you will know better what to expect.

To be sure they are getting water, check to see if the sipper tube is working properly (the ball is not stuck or if it operates with air bubbles, that there isn’t a bubble blockage) by tapping your finger on the end of the tube for water flow.

A better diet is the lab blocks for rodents with the Fiesta mix as a treat. The blocks have everything they need, where with the seed mixes, they pick and choose what they want to eat and don’t always eat everything they should.

If they still have loose stools, it would be a good idea to take them back to Petco to their vet to see why that is happening.

Update: Thank you so much for all of the info that you sent me! I really appreciate it. Tracy and Macy are doing good now. Thank you again so much for your help! *

July 6, 2015